Yuvraj defends delayed declaration

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/y/yuvraj2_ap.jpg' class='caption'> Star middle order batsman Yuvraj Singh defended India's decision to delay the declaration in the second innings.

Updated: April 06, 2009 18:28 IST
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Star middle order batsman Yuvraj Singh on Monday defended India's decision to delay the declaration in the second innings, which could possibly deny them a victory in the third and final Test if the predicted showers swamp the Basin Reserve on Tuesday.

India had established a 531-run lead on day three of the Test but continued to bat for 85 minutes into the morning before declaring their innings at 434 for seven, setting New Zealand a mammoth 617 to get in the last innings of the match.

"Our strategy was to put as many runs on the board as quickly as possible and declare and have enough time to win the game," said Yuvraj.

Yuvraj said the team knew about the impending bad weather on the last day of the match.

"We heard it is going to rain. We wanted to declare quickly and get 600 runs on the board so we could have enough overs to bowl at New Zealand. Rain is always predicted.

Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. Fingers crossed, we should get enough overs tomorrow," he said.

The flamboyant left-hander, however, felt that India would need to work hard to get the remaining six wickets on Tuesday to win the game.

"You have to be bowling well throughout the day to get 10 wickets. The wicket has become a little slow suddenly and the batsmen are set and can get runs. So you have to work hard to get those last six wickets," he said.

Asked if India did right by having eight fielders on the off-side, Yuvraj said, "You got to ask the captain. When you start going for runs you try and contain the batsmen for a little while. You try and make him play to our strength, so maybe we were trying that. But I'm sure our tactics are going to change tomorrow morning."

Yuvraj, meanwhile, was happy for Rahul Dravid who created a world record for most catches taken by a fielder.

"It is a great feeling for him. He has been there for more than 13 years. He has been outstanding as a batsman and in the slips cordon. We advised him to keep the ball as it is a big achievement," said Yuvraj.

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